If a drunk driver has injured you, it’s important to understand your legal options. Of course, no amount of money can make up for the injuries or financial losses you may have suffered in such an accident. However, if the at-fault party is financially responsible for their actions and your losses, then they should be held accountable.
This article will provide you with important information about the different legal options that may be available to you, as well as explain how a personal injury attorney can help protect your rights and maximize your compensation.
What Will It Cost Me?
There are two types of damages in a personal injury claim: economic and non-economic. Economic damages are tangible losses, including medical bills, lost wages due to missed work, and any property damage caused by accident.
Non-economic damages include more subjective types of loss that may be more difficult for a jury or insurance company to put a price tag on. These “pain and suffering” damages compensate you for the physical and emotional effects of your injuries, such as reduced quality of life or permanent disfigurement.
In a settlement negotiation, your attorney will put a dollar value on your claim and ensure that all damages are accounted for. That is after they get every piece of evidence to prove your claim. This evidence often includes the drunk driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC), as well as their medical records and traffic citations.
In some cases, an attorney may be able to seek punitive damages from a drunk driver or their insurance company if they were acting recklessly or negligently during the accident. These damages can be considerable and can go a long way toward getting you the money you deserve.
What If You Suffer Serious Injuries?
If your injuries leave you unable to work for an extended time, then you may only have a limited window in which to file a claim. That’s why you must act quickly.
In many states, the time limit for filing a personal injury claim is two years from the date of your accident. To find out what this rule is in your state, check with a local personal injury attorney.
How Do I Find An Attorney?
When you speak with a drunk driving accident lawyer, make sure they can represent you in your state. It’s essential to work with someone who has handled personal injury cases like yours before and knows the applicable laws in your state.
Study their website carefully for information about their specific legal practice areas, education background, and professional affiliations. You should look for a lawyer specializing in the type of case you present and who has experience representing clients with similar injuries.
Finally, make sure to ask about your legal costs upfront and avoid attorneys who ask for a hefty retainer fee or any amount upfront. A reputable attorney will provide you with an itemized estimate of your expected legal fees and tell you if payment is due after the case has concluded.
Author information: Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and walks in the park with her husky, Snowball.